Apply to Advanced Standing International Program

ASIP is designed for international optometrists pursuing a U.S. Doctor of Optometry degree.

Program Details

ASIP Application Information


Applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in optometry from an accredited, recognized international optometric school.
  • Have at least two years of full-time optometric clinical experience (not including a pre-registration year) after graduation from optometry school.

Application Deadline

  • All application requirements must be completed and received by the Office of Admissions on or before September 15, 2023 for May 2024 entry.
  • Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Application Instructions

1. Apply with the GradCAS application.

  • The home page of GradCAS will list the application as 2022-2023 and will not contain the summer of 2024 as an option, but please continue anyways. Our cycle timeline does not match up precisely with the GradCAS application.
  • Once you create an account, select the “NECO Advanced Standing International Program” by clicking on the plus sign next to the program name.
    Complete the application’s 4 core sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials. Utilize the GradCAS Applicant Help Center as a resource.
  • A non-refundable fee of $75 is required as part of the GradCAS application. Application fee waivers are available on a case-by-case basis. Please email [email protected] to receive a waiver.

 2. Complete all essays and supplemental questions in the “program” section of the GradCAS application.

3. Submit transcripts from each college or university ever attended.

  • Official transcripts must be sent by the issuing institution directly to the online application server (GradCAS).
  • If your transcripts do not include the name of the degree received, dates of attendance, and the date that the degree was awarded (month, day, and year), a letter must be sent with the transcripts that include that information.
  • Any transcript(s) from a university outside of the United States or Canada will need to be evaluated by WES US. A course-by-course evaluation is required, and we strongly prefer the WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) as it includes official transcripts as part of the report. If the WES evaluation is submitted without the ICAP, official transcripts from all schools will also need to be sent to NECO before enrolling.

4. Submit language testing scores.

Applicants whose native language is not English may take the Internet-based TOEFL exam (minimum score of 88 and 22 on the speaking section) or the IELTS exam (minimum total score of 6.5 and speaking score of 7). Official TOEFL exam scores should be submitted directly to GradCAS with code B886, and official IELTS scores should be sent directly to New England College of Optometry. You may request to have this requirement waived if you attended an undergraduate institution where English is the instruction language. Only one language test is required, either the Test of English as a Foreign Language Scores or the International English Language Testing System Scores. You must take one of the exams. The admissions committee reserves the right to require applicants to undergo further language testing and instruction as necessary.

5. Complete optometric practice questionnaires.

These forms must be completed for a maximum of 3 optometric positions that you have held since graduating from your optometric program. Please start with your most recent job. Submit your questionnaires with your application. Download the practice questionnaire.

6. Submit 3 letters of recommendation.

These letters provide important insights into each candidate as a student, employee, and person. The recommendations are submitted as part of the GradCAS application. The recommendations should be completed by optometrists, ophthalmologists, faculty members, or supervisors/colleagues who are familiar with your professional work.

7. Submit your curriculum vitae.

A detailed curriculum vitae should be included as part of the GradCAS application.

Candidate Interviews

The admissions committee will notify all students via email if invited to interview. The interview is a requirement for acceptance to NECO.

Admissions Decision

Applicants to the program will receive decision letters by the end of January.

Support During the Application Process

Our Admissions team is committed to assisting individuals interested in applying to NECO. Candidates will receive periodic updates on the state of their application throughout the process. Feel free to contact a member of our staff with questions.